Thursday, December 20, 2007

Okay, okay ...

So I got a little bit of ribbing for my last post. I had previously said my next blog entry would be announcing the baby, then instead I posted about Dan Fogelberg. Well, here's the news you've all been waiting for ... she's here! Mikayla Petra was born yesterday (Wednesday December 19) at 2:02 a.m. She was 6 lbs 12 oz and 21" at birth. Here is a picture of her and Katrina together:

We are home and happy. Ryan is making chocolate chip cookies, Katrina is watching a Dora movie, and I am typing one-handed while feeding Mikayla.

Topics for my next post: the birth story, and how Ryan smashed our van.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Singer Dan Fogelberg dies

From ...

NEW YORK (AP) -- Dan Fogelberg, the singer and songwriter whose hits "Leader of the Band" and "Same Old Lang Syne" helped define the soft-rock era, died Sunday at his home in Maine after battling prostate cancer. He was 56.

His death was announced Sunday on the singer's Web site.

"Dan left us this morning at 6 a.m. He fought a brave battle with cancer and died peacefully at home in Maine with his wife, Jean, at his side," it read. "His strength, dignity and grace in the face of the daunting challenges of this disease were an inspiration to all who knew him."

Fogelberg discovered he had advanced prostate cancer in 2004. In a statement then, he thanked fans for their support: "It is truly overwhelming and humbling to realize how many lives my music has touched so deeply all these years. ... I thank you from the very depths of my heart."

Fogelberg's music was powerful in its simplicity. He didn't rely on the volume of his voice to convey his emotions; instead, they came through in the soft, tender delivery and his poignant lyrics. Songs like "Same Old Lang Syne" -- in which a man reminisces after meeting an old girlfriend by chance during the holidays -- became classics not only because of his performance, but also for the engaging storyline.

Fogelberg's heyday was in the 1970s and early '80s, when he scored several platinum and multiplatinum records fueled by such hits as "The Power of Gold" and "Leader of the Band," a touching tribute he wrote to his father, a bandleader. Fogelberg put out his first album in 1972.

Fogelberg's songs tended to have a weighty tone, reflecting on emotional issues in a serious way. But in an interview with the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Journal Sentinel in 1997, he said it did not represent his personality.

"That came from my singles in the early '80s," he reflects. "I think it probably really started on the radio. I'm not a dour person in the least. I'm actually kind of a happy person. Music doesn't really reflect the whole person.

"One of my dearest friends is Jimmy Buffett. From his music, people have this perception that he's up all the time, and, of course, he's not. Jimmy has a serious side, too."

Later in his career, he would write material that focused on the state of the environment, an issue close to his heart. Fogelberg's last album was 2003's "Full Circle," his first album of original material in a decade. A year later he would receive his cancer diagnosis, forcing him to forgo a planned fall tour.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Family Date Night

We decided to eat out at Red Lobster tonight - one final 'family date night' before This Baby (still unnamed!) arrives. We eat out more often than we should, but the last few times have been brutal because Katrina has acted up. Trying new things has helped ... instead of ordering her food first, we have learned that giving her a snack then getting her food with ours works better, etc. Tonight was GREAT! The food was good, Ryan and I had a chance to talk (about HD TiVos, of all things), and Katrina was so well behaved! She sat in a booster seat and ate applesauce and few bites of Mommy's salad all by herself. She didn't even throw too much of a fuss when I took her lemonade away (I was afraid she would drink too much and not eat). The best part, though, came at the end. Katrina was sitting by Ryan and I said to her, "Katrina, you were such a good girl tonight! You behaved very well at this restaurant." Her response? "I hug you!" We got a kick out of that. Apparently her love language is a combination of words of affirmation and physical touch. :) What a great night ... a great set of memories to look back upon when our family was 'just' three.

This Baby is due on Saturday ... today is Thursday (evening) ... no signs of labor yet. Probably good, since we still have to decide on a name! If all goes as planned/hoped for, this will probably be the last entry until she arrives. So, I hope to post soon with a big announcement..........

Monday, December 03, 2007

LIfe with a two-year-old

I really should get in the shower, but there are so many things Katrina has said/done lately that I don't want to forget to share them!

Thanksgiving day: We went to Simon and Laura's house. Simon has a piano-sized keyboard in the back room, and the kids love playing on it. Katrina is very good about asking before doing something (usually!), and this was no exception. Except she kept asking if she could "play Simon's e-mail." Play Simon's e-mail? What in the world? Finally I asked her to show me what she meant, and she led me to the keyboard. Finally I got it! To her, "keyboard" = "computer" = "e-mail." We tell her she can't play with our keyboards at home because we are sending e-mails for work, etc. So by asking "play Simon's e-mail?" she was asking if she could play with the piano keyboard like the other kids. :)

Christmas lights: Everywhere we go, Katrina points out Christmas lights and Christmas trees. I don't know how she knows "Christmas" as I'm sure she doesn't remember last year, but it's so cute and amazing to hear her excitement and awe every time she sees lights. We've been talking about whose birthday it is at Christmas, and that Christmas is when we celebrate that Jesus came from Heaven to Earth as a little baby to be our Savior.

The best "Christmas lights" story just happened last week. I had to run to the post office after work, and since it was Thursday, Ryan was down in Virginia. Katrina and I turned out of the post office onto Patrick Street, which is lined with trees with white lights. She shouted, "Christmas lights!" and proceeded to say "thank you" for nearly every tree on the street. It went something like this: "Christmas lights! Thank you, Mommy! Thank you ... thank you ... thank you ... thank you, Mommy! Christmas lights! Thank you ... thank you ... thank you!!" (Of course, her "thank you" sounds more like "tank ooo," but I knew what she meant.)

There are many more Katrina stories to share, but I need to get ready for work. Today starts my second-to-last week before the baby is due, and there is so much to do! I am blessed with a great work environment and supportive people (I'm over my super-crabbiness from a few weeks ago), but I am about stretched to the limit with only ten days of work left. Plus it's a sad time at work. Hal's wife has been battling brain cancer for more than a year now, and keeps having complex complications. Keith, our stubborn but lovable CFO was just diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus and begins a long series of treatments this week - he has a 2-year-old and a six-month old at home. And the most heartwrenching to me ... our HR director's baby was just diagnosed with an infantile muscle-wasting disease at eight-weeks old, and given a year or two to live. I am confident God is in control as our "family" aches through these seasons of pain and loss.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

CNN Again

Yet another CNN article about the Frederick area. This is the fifth or so murder-suicide this year, and at least the third involving children. So heartbreaking.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Frederick made again.


I read the story in the FNP (local paper) this morning, where the family named the young man. So sad. And interesting that this follows closely behind a recent Taser incident at one of the county high schools, where an officer Tasered a student.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Joys of Pregnancy

Gotta love being pregnant. I spent hours yesterday (and early this morning) scrubbing the bathtub and rearranging/reorganzing the storage shelves in the hall bathroom. Of course, our living room, kitchen and dining room are all disasters. We dumped suitcases from our trip to IL in the living room. The kitchen island is piled high with two weeks of mail. The dining room table mostly covered with papers, Roomba parts, and sundry items. But did I clean those areas? Nope. I straighted three shelves ... in the same amount of time it would take me to have cleaned the living room/kitchen/dining room.

The countdown is on! We're due four weeks from Saturday, or approximately 33 days. You hear that, little baby? Your lease is almost up ... consider this your eviction notice.


Friday, November 09, 2007


Well, it's official. My child hates me. Or so she says. Today, just four days prior to turning two-and-one-half, Katrina said, "I hate you!" We were in the car on the way home from the babysitter's house and I said, "Brrr! It's cold!" Katrina replied, "No cold! I hate you! I hate you!" (I'm sure everyone would agree she gets her irrational-ness from me.) I asked her what she said, and she repeated, "I hate you!" I asked if she said she was hitting me ('I hit you') and she said, "No! I hate you!" I launched into the whole "we-don't-hate-that's-not-a-nice-word-mommy-loves-you" spiel, to which she replied, "It cold."


Is this foreshadowing of what the teen years will be like?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Finally Free

I was/am in a terrible mood. Irritated with work. Then this morning on the way to work, I heard "Finally Free" by Nichole Nordeman. These lines especially spoke to me:

And if the Son has set us free
Then we must be free indeed
Let the chains fall away, starting today
Everything has changed
I'm finally free

I _am_ free, free from the bondage of sin and the cares of this world. This song reminded me that the petty things do not matter, and it's time to move on.

Of course, I still had a hard time not crying while I was washing my coffee mug this morning. Stupid hormones.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

New pictures!

Among the many other things going on in my life now, we *finally* updated our photo gallery. Yes, here it is November and we are just now getting around to adding photos for all of 2007. You can view the pictures here:


Sunday, October 21, 2007


Katrina made a "slide" out of the broom handle today. She propped the handle on the top of her pumpkin, then tried sliding down, but the handle kept slipping. She looked around for a bit, then moved the handle to a bushel basket we keep in the living room for her books. The handle of the basket kept the broom from slipping. She sat halfway up the handle and 'slid' to the bottom, with her hands in the air and said, "Wheeeee!" After doing this a few times, Katrina then turned to me, and holding up one finger, said, "One more time, Mama."

Monday, October 15, 2007

He Fix It!

Katrina has really been into "fixing" things lately. Her pajama pants often get bunched up at the calf (something she hated last year) and so she will pull them back down and say, "I fix it!" She also brings things for us to fix. It's been quite a lesson to learn when we've had to say, "Honey, we can't fix that for you" (like a crumbled cracker or something).

We went to Cracker Barrel for dinner on Wednesday last week. After dinner, Katrina and I went to Target while Ryan went to Costco. As we were getting in the van to leave the store, Katrina said, "Oh, no!" I asked what was wrong, and she replied, "Clouds! They broke!" Sure enough, the clouds were a dark stormy blue. I explained that the clouds were blue because maybe they would bring rain, then we talked about how God makes the clouds. (Not the actual science of clouds, just that He is the creator of clouds.)

Fast forward to the next morning on the way to the babysitter's house. Katrina looked out the van window and said, "He fix it!" I asked her what she meant, and she replied, "Clouds! Clouds no blue. Clouds white. He fix it!" I asked her who fixed the clouds, and she said, "God fix clouds!"

I love this kid. Good days and bad, we have learned so much much. Just last night Ryan and I talked at length after the lights were off about all the cute and funny things she said this weekend. Like Saturday morning she found Ryan's football and asked me, "I say 'touchdown?'" I said sure, so over and over again she said, "Touchdown!" and put her arms up in the goal post symbol. When I asked her if she wanted to go show Daddy (he was still sleeping), she said, "Yeah!" We woke him up, only for her to giggle and then refuse to say anything.

Saturday I also had a talk with her about yelling across the house. If she can't find us, she'll stand in the living room and yell, "MOM! MOM! MOM! DAD! DAD! DAD!" I told her that yelling is not nice, and if she cannot find us, she should look for us and ask, "Where are you?" So sure enough she started asking, "Where are you?" Ryan and Katrina were talking about her little sister that is soon to join our family, and she asked, "Sister, where are you?"

Oops, it's late ... almost 7:30! I need to finish getting ready for work.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Super Chicken

While watching The Office tonight (we're a few days behind on shows, as usual), there was a commercial for something and it mentioned Super Chicken. Ryan does not remember Super Chicken!!!! I used to watch it as part of George of the Jungle. Does anybody else remember Super Chicken?

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Movies, unwelcome house guests, and more

Here it is, the ninth of October already. And stinking hot. It was 91 degrees at 5:00 today. That is so wrong. I hear a cold snap is on the way, though ... yay!

I had planned to post Saturday morning about our date night Friday but something came up. Friday night we dropped Katrina off at the Y for Parents' Night Out and headed to the theater to see The Game Plan. It was such a cute movie! I tend to be a tough critic when it comes to movie content - don't care for violence, language, alcohol, onscreen sex, etc. - so I was interested when I read the PluggedIn review. While it definitely wasn't Ryan's first choice for a movie, the football storyline appealed to him (I think). I highly recommend it for a cute date movie, and even a family movie for those with elementary kids. (Nothing in the content is bad for younger kids, it's just that older kids could sit through the movie better and follow the storyline).

Friday was one of a handful of dates we've been on since Katrina was born. We know how important it is to have time together, and we really do intend to do it more often, but time seems to fly by. And honestly, we enjoy spending time as a family eating out, going to the store together, etc., too. We both went into the Y to pick up Katrina at the end of the night - we wanted to see who she missed more. :) It was Daddy, hands down, of course. And I love that - I love the relationship they have and how Ryan has become a Daddy, not just another guy with a kid. (Am I making sense?)

Saturday. Ahh, sweet, peaceful Saturday. NOT. Ryan had to work 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., so I made plans with a girlfriend to go to a street festival in Frederick. Katrina and I were up early and were just about to leave to hit Borders before meeting my friend when the unwelcome house guest arrived. It wasn't his fault - he didn't come by choice. You see, Davis (our cat) ran outside when I was buckling Katrina in her carseat. Davis caught a chipmunk, brought it in the house, and LET IT GO!!! I was so terrified. Completely irrational. Creeped out. Freaking out, standing on the couch yelling ... at a chipmunk. My attempts to get rid of it did not work, not even the trail of yummy acorns leading to the front door. So we left. I was certain I'd come home to a bloody murder scene with chipmunk parts spread all over the house, but there was no sign of the stupid thing. The cats were sort of stalking the other couch then, but eventually walked away and fell asleep. Lazy cats. Ryan got home at 10:00. The sequence of events went something like this:
10:00 p.m. Ryan walks in the front door
10:03 p.m. Ryan moves the couch
10:05 p.m. Ryan scoops up chipmunk (alive) in box, takes it outside

He's my hero. :)

Finally, a quick Katrina story:
I found a set of flashcards at Wal-Mart with uppercase and lowercase letters on separate cards. Tonight after dinner we pulled them out for the first time, and Katrina knew several of the lowercase letters! (She knows all 26 uppercase letters now.) Lowercase letters she named: c, e, h, k, m, n, o, r, s, u, v, w, x, y and z. That's more than half the alphabet! I purposely didn't ask her b/d/g/p/q because those are so confusing, but she did tell me that a b "go up, no down" and drew a 'b' in the air. The other cute thing - she calls them "baby" letters. So an e is a "baby E."

Even more exciting is that she recognized four words! Ryan wrote CAT on her MagnaDoodle, and Katrina spelled out the letters. Then when Ryan asked her what it spells, she said, "Kitty!" He wrote MOM, and she did the same thing - said it spells "Mama." DAD is "Dada," and BABY is "Baby."

By the way ... Katrina will be two and five months (29 months) next week. When asked what we should name her baby sister, she says, "Ummm ... Rabbit!"

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Okay, so we are a little behind on watching the first Survivor ... thank goodness for ReplayTVs ... but a gay Mormon flight attendant?!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Our weekend

Our weekend was busy but great! Miss PattyCake visited our church for TWO concerts on Saturday. We originally booked her for one, but the response was so overwhelming that we scheduled a second concert, and both were filled to near capacity! For those of you who don't know Miss PattyCake, you may recognize her as Jean Thomason, who formerly sang/performed at Women of Faith events. She has been Miss PattyCake for twelve years now, and ministers to preschoolers and their families through song and motion. All the kids love her! I highly recommend you visit her website, get her DVDs (a new one comes out October 30), and even invite her to perform at your church. She's great!

We had a bit of a cold snap roll through. Saturday was cool (high 60s) but comfortable. It was only 38 degrees when I woke up this morning!! We had to dig out some of Katrina's new fall clothes for church. She pretty much picked out this outfit by herself at the store one day. I held up one skirt and she said, "No!" and pointed to this one instead. Then she grabbed the off-white shirt from a stack. Maybe we have a future fashion designer on our hands?

This last picture goes way back to July. I found it on the camera when I was looking at the pictures from this weekend. We visited Illinois in July, and this is Katrina wandering through my mom's bean field. We're heading back to IL in late October ... maybe she'll get to (safely) ride in a combine then!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

9 months

From Readers' Digest (

After the birth of my son, a woman from the records department stopped by my hospital room to get information for his birth certificate. "Father's date of birth?" she asked. When I told her, she said, "Do you realize that his birthday is exactly nine months before your son's birth?"

"No, I hadn't thought about it," I responded, "but now that you mention it, I have a daughter who turned two a couple days before the same date."

After she finished taking down all the data, she patted my hand and said, "Maybe you should start buying your husband a tie for his birthday."

-- M.K. Pigott

Friday, September 07, 2007


We are still obsessing about Katrina's growth patterns. She has an appointment at Johns Hopkins later this month as a 'second opinion' with a gastroenterologist. They (hopefully) won't rerun the tests but will look at the results and see if there is anything the doctors at Georgetown missed. I'm thinking about it now because I was over a friend's house this morning; their youngest daughter is a few months younger than Katrina and wears a size 6 diaper. (Size 6 is for kids who weigh more than 35 lbs.) In contrast, Katrina wears a size 4 diaper and they are huge on her ... I go back and forth with the idea of putting her in a smaller size. I know it's all relative, but our friends are average-to-tall in height, and both are athletic and slender. I am average height and Ryan is tall, and we both gain weight easily. So how do we have the skinny kid whose pants fall down all the time?? Our newest niece weighs just about half what Katrina does ... and she is seven weeks old. I'm sure Baby Bethany will pass Katrina in weight in her first year.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Another one bites the dust.

After a grueling two weeks, another proposal is out the door. I have just a few hours to work tomorrow, then will be done for the week. What should I do with my 'free' Thursday and Friday? I'm thinking a good book one day and maybe some house cleaning the other day. I'm definitely experiencing signs of nesting - already! Sunday I had to clean the carport. I was obsessed. I even made Ryan mop part of it, and it's a concrete floor! Last night I disinfected my friend Laura's kitchen counters, and today I scrubbed the coffee maker at work.

This morning Katrina said, "I love you, too" when I told her I love her! Of course, it sounded more like "I luh ooo, too" but I knew what she meant. Being a parent has really changed me and enlightened me to how God feels about each of us. We delight in our little girl day after day, from new words to the way she mimics her daddy to even the crazy book she chooses to read before bed each night. We find joy in the simplest things with her, and it amazes me that God our Father delights in me, even more than I delight in our daughter.

Prayer request: A friend from church found out her brother-in-law (her sister's husband) was shot and killed in their home in Venezuela during a robbery attempt. The friend's nieces have been visiting her for a few weeks, so now Marycruz (our friend) has the heartbreaking task of telling her nieces their father was killed, as well as getting them back home to Venezuela as soon as possible. The girls (Marycruz's nieces) are 14 and 5. Please pray!

Saturday, September 01, 2007


It's good to learn something new.


Monday, August 27, 2007

Second birthday, and other momentous occassions.

Hmm. "Momentous" looks funny.

Anyway, today, August 27, is my 'second birthday.' I became a Christian on this date thirteen (13) years ago today. I remember the date, not only because it is so special, but because it falls exactly seven days after my 'real' birthday. That's right, I turned 28 last Monday, and today I 'turned' 13. God is good, for sure. I am so blessed beyond belief. We just celebrated our fifth anniversary, and Ryan had a birthday, too. Here is what a week in August looks like for us:

August 17 - our anniversary
August 20 - my birthday
August 24 - Ryan's birthday (he's 31 now! SO OLD!!)

I had an ultrasound today (more on that later) and the lady performing the scan was telling me about a recent trip her family took to Western Maryland. I asked her if she was familiar with Swallow Falls state park, and she was. I always take any opportunity I can to brag ... not about Ryan, but about God, and how He healed Ryan from near death. I briefly told the woman about Ryan's fall three years ago, and how it was a miracle that he even lived, and also how he was expected to be on life support for at least three weeks but was breathing on his own and semi-conscious less than 24 hours after the accident. It was a horrible experience, for sure, but we can see God's hand in so many ways. So we definitely celebrate birthdays around here, and the fact that my crazy husband is even around. :)

I finally cleaned our bedroom. I am such a slob. Ask Marte. And April and Crystal. They all came over in high school to help me clean my room. And Sidra lived with me in college (bless her heart). I'm setting mini-goals along the way. Like, tonight I want to go through the clothes remaining in my dresser (that I never wear) and set them aside for donation. And if I/we can keep the room picked up for at least a set amount of time, I'm thinking paint and a new rug are in store for us. I forgot to take any 'before' pictures (they would have been too scary, anyway), but maybe I'll post some 'after' pictures.

Katrina is growing up so fast! I'm not sure why this is such a big deal to me, but she started calling us "Mommy" and "Daddy" this weekend (instead of "Mama" and "Dada"). She hasn't made the complete switch - she does still call us Mama and Dada interchanged with Mommy and Daddy - but it just seems so grownup for her to say Mommy instead of Mama. And I like being Mama! (Of course, she asked, "Where Ryan?" tonight when she heard me call out his name to bring me something. Oops.)

We're working with her on shapes now. She knows all 26 uppercase letters, a handful of letter sounds, can count to and recognize 1 - 10, and knows a heart, star and oval. We're working on the basic shapes like square and circle (she calls a circle 'round') and rectangle. Not sure how she knows the obscure shapes first, but hey, that's our kid for you. I've also started pointing out lowercase letters to her, and she knows the lowercase 'e' but that's all so far. Katrina is also really into emotions - she can quickly identify an emotion portrayed by a person or animal's expression in a picture, even the first time she sees it. She has a 96-cent placemat from Wal-Mart with Sesame Street characters on it, and the first time she looked at it, in the store, she noticed that Elmo looks like he's tripping over a stick. Right away Katrina said, "Mama, Elmo hurt. Elmo hurt!" I didn't even see it until she pointed it out to me!

(And she is not an alien child from Village of the D*mned, thank you very much MARTE and SARA!)

And finally, my ultrasound. The blood clots are GONE and the amniotic fluid is clear - no blood cell debris!! It's as if the clots never existed. God is so good. We have been praying and praying that these clots would simply disappear and I would be healed, and He answered! This little girl is very calm, not nearly the kicker that her big sister was. She has predictable active times: right after lunch, and in the evening between 10 and 10:30, when I'm trying to fall asleep. She is growing along her curve, and is slightly bigger (1 lb, 5 oz) than Katrina was at this stage of development. Any suggestions for a name? We can't call her 'This Baby' forever.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

No Bug Spray

We've been having a rough bedtime with Katrina for just about a month now ... since we got back from vacation. Both our babysitter and a coworker encouraged us that the phase lasts about a month and will pass, but we were giving up hope of getting to bed peacefully (read: without vomit). Lately Katrina has been obsessed with bugs. Sometimes she points them out, but she usually shrieks "A BOG!!!!!!" (yes, b-o-g is how she says it) and freaks out. The last few times I've asked her what she is scared of, she says, "bog."

Last weekend Grandma Herbert (Gail, Ryan's mom) said that Ryan had a similar bedtime issue when he was a little bit older. He finally told his Grandma Lyons that he was scared of a lion under his bed and needed a gun to shoot it. Grandma Lyons got him a toy gun and sure enough, he slept well after that. We figured a gun would be overkill (pardon the pun), but we did decide to make a bottle of "No Bug Spray." Ryan found a picture of a bug with the line through it, and I taped it to an empty spray bottle. We showed it to Katrina before bed tonight and made a big deal of spraying her bed and under and all around her room. We also showed her how she could spray if she got scared.

Sure enough, it worked! It's only the first night, so I'm not saying it's permanent, but I prayed with her and kissed her goodnight, and she laid down without a peep. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY.

I am heading to bed. I've been sleep-deprived for the last month.

Here's the picture we used for our "No Bug Spray" bottle:

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Our newest niece

Bethany Elise Yanchick arrived yesterday (Saturday, July 28th) at 7:37 a.m. She weighed 8 pounds 5 ounces, is 22 inches long, and is GORGEOUS! Laura and David are doing well. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What the?!

I just read this -

I hope they don't change the style and message of WGTS.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's a ....


Level II ultrasound was today. The baby's heart looks good (that was the reason for the visit to the perinatologist - my sister has a mitral valve prolapse); the baby was a little uncooperative, though, and they were only able to fully see the right side of her heart. I have to go back in two weeks for another ultrasound, and they'll search again with hopes of cooperation so they can see the left side of the heart.

The placenta looks great ... it is neither low nor pulling away. It turns out the bleeding is from a moderately-sized subchorionic hematoma - a blood clot. The size and place of the clot introduces a risk of fetal death if it grows and pushes the placenta out of place, hence why I have to return in two weeks (to see if the clot is changing size). Until then, I am on 'mild rest,' meaning no marathons or bicycle races. I told the perinatologist he didn't have to worry about that. :) I can still work, but am encouraged to rest often and avoid any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting, as that could dislodge the clot or cause more bleeding.

I'm still at work. We have a task order response due tomorrow. Today was one of those swamped days. I told a coworker, if anyone else asked me to do one more thing, I would either cry or scream. Or both. Now the office is nice and quiet, and the end of this crazy task order is so close.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Signs of an early reader?

Katrina, Ryan and I were playing a game this evening where Mommy or Daddy would write down a letter on her Magna Doodle thing and Katrina would name the letter. We knew that she knows the letters R, B, and I, but thought that was the extent of her letter recognition. Boy, were we wrong! Katrina recognizes and names SEVENTEEN (17!) letters of the alphabet - and she is just 26 months old!

The letters she knows (unrecognized ones in parentheses): A, B, C, (D), E, F, (G), H, I, (J), (K), (L), M, (N), O, (P), (Q), R, S, T, U, (V), W, X, Y, Z

We couldn't believe it! When I taught preschool, we quizzed the four year olds at the mid-year point, and a few of the students recognized four or five letters. By the end of the year (when they turned five), all students recognized at least one letter, and the average number of letters recognized was ten. Katrina has already surpassed that for sure!

The Tale of Two Tired Parents

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there were two parents. Two tired parents. Their daughter, who recently turned two, had even more recently decided that she didn't need to sleep at night. She fought sleep; oh, what a fighter she was. She could shriek and cry like the best of them. She also learned to throw up on command, much to her parents' dismay ... and disgust. She hadn't always been this way. In fact, her mommy was recently telling a friend how easygoing this little girl was, and how blessed mommy and daddy felt.

Mommy and Daddy shouldn't have looked a gift horse in the mouth.

One sunny summer weekend, this little girl decided not only did she not need to sleep at night, but she didn't need to take naps anymore, either. And she decided she could start waking up at that crazy hour in the morning where it's too early to get up, but too late to go back to sleep. This made the little girl pretty cranky, even though she did it to herself. She was unfriendly at church and cried during Sunday School; during Children's Church she would only let her daddy hold her.

But! Mommy and Daddy felt hopeful when the little girl fell asleep in the car on the way home from church. Daddy oh so carefully unbuckled the little girl from her seat and carried her in the house, then gently set her on her waiting bed. You see, even her bed missed the little girl who used to sleep so well. (Her pretty bedroom rug did not miss her, though - it was tired of being puked on every night.) The hope was short lived. The little girl woke up with a start and a loud "NO!"

Mommy and Daddy tried everything they knew to do. They played a cd of lullabies, then a new cd when that one maybe the little girl cry harder. They read stories and got a snack and stretched out on a blanket on the floor with the little girl. Nothing would work, though, and eventually, the mommy and daddy fell fast asleep on the floor while the little girl played and read books to herself.

(Daddy asleep on Katrina's floor, two hours later.)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Second Trimester Bedrest

Meh. I visited the OB midwife yesterday for some bleeding issues, and she wants to put me on bedrest, at least until my ultrasound on Tuesday but maybe until at least the end of next week. She thinks perhaps the placenta is low-lying or even separating from the uterine wall, but she can't confirm it without an ultrasound. Since I already have one schedule for early next week, and I'm young and without previous complications, she was fine with waiting until then.

I did feel pretty crappy yesterday, but I feel SO much better today. I took it easy last night (Ryan heated up leftovers for dinner, helped get Katrina ready for bed, etc.) and slept well, too.

I'm at work today, so I'm obviously disregarding the doctor's orders. If they do find something on Tuesday, I'll consider working from home for a few days, but it's just too crazy right now to drop everything.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Not so fun way to spend fun money.

For a couple of months now, Ryan and I have been tracking 'fun money.' Each day we pack a lunch (rather than eat fast food or go to the Orbiteria), we 'earn' $5. The same goes for each time we work out at the Y. We track our fun money balance at Joe's Goals, and the money is to use how we see fit. (We have separate fun money accounts.)

I usually spend mine right away, on books, music, library fines, etc. Ryan has been saving his for a big purchase like a PS3 or other video game related items. Well, while we were in Illinois, Ryan got a letter informing him that he had spent $75 of his hard-earned fun money ... he ran a red light here in Frederick at an intersection that is camera-monitored. This is actually his second offense in a year, but thankfully the city doesn't keep track of that, so it doesn't count against his driving record. But it's still a less than fun way to spend fun money.

(This reminds me. I have an overdue library book. Eek!)

Our trip to Illinois was fairly uneventful. We has some miscommunications with Ryan's family about when we would arrive, etc., but it all turned out fine in the end. Katrina has a whole slew of new words, including:

- Boppy/Popeye (Bobby)
- Nawna (both Shawna and my sister Leea)
- Monkey (my mom! I have no idea why she calls my mom "Monkey" - we refer to her as Grammy)
- water
- fench fye (french fry)

... and my favorite: happy. She started saying, "I happy!" while we were in Illinois. Not sure if she really understands the concept, but she sure says it a lot. She will walk around the house saying, "I happy, Mama! Happy, Mama?" and she told me tonight "Rabbit happy!" meaning the rabbit on her pajama top was happy.

It's hard to believe she's two. It's even harder to believe she'll be a big sister in a few months. I have an ultrasound on Tuesday (yay!) but I do need to call the OB in the morning as I've had some spotting (sorry if TMI). Hopefully they will say, "Take it easy until Tuesday then come see us after your ultrasound" since the OB and the Fetal Medicine specialist are now right next door to each other in the same building. It's busy at work the rest of this week and next week through Wednesday, and it will be hard for me to get away from the office.

I have some decisions to make regarding work and what to do after the new baby arrives. I was honest to Kurt/Hal/Gordon when I told them I was pregnant, that I wasn't sure I would be returning full time after the baby is born. They all have been very supportive (is there such a thing as TOO supportive? sometimes it's annoying how they coddle me!), and encouraging me to do what is best for our family ... while trying to entice me to return to work. :) On top of that, our pastor has semi-officially offered me a job at the church. That job seems perfect, but I am managing to talk myself out of it.

Pretty much I'm terrible at making decisions, so pray for me. :)

Friday, June 29, 2007

When it rains, it pours.

Well, not literally. It's not raining now, although it's supposed to any moment. We need the rain.


This has been a week. Getting into work early because our office manager is out on vacation. VBS right after work every night. Not getting home until 10. House cleaning for guests. Laundry and packing for vacation. Fast food for dinner every night. Mom in the hospital. Cat got outside and was lost for several hours. Found out another set of friends' marriage is ending. Huge cold sore due to stress. Too big for regular clothes, too small for maternity clothes. Sciatic nerve already acting up, and still have 24 weeks to go. Last minute scramble to finish final exam for Pauline Epistles class. Need to make decision about work. Not enough teachers to fill schedule at church.

I'm exhausted, if you couldn't tell. Physically and emotionally. I described it this way to a friend: some people don't save their money, and so when a small-ish disaster strikes (need new brakes, fridge dies, etc.), they scramble to pay for it to make ends meet. I have overspent my strength this last week or so, and I am so exhausted and stretched that one more thing will make me crack.

Don't ask about the lipstick in the dryer. It's enough to make me cry.


Okay, so I'm going to go to bed, get a good night's rest (Ryan is staying up to wait for our house guests to arrive - I probably won't see them at all), and start over tomorrow. Tomorrow night is the last night of VBS, then we leave early Saturday morning to drive to Illinois for a week. I'm looking forward to time away to think and pray. My mom took a turn for the worse this past week and was admitted to the hospital for blood transfusions - she had severe anemia. She's home now, but it was enough to get me thinking about my/our role in what is getting to be the end of her life. Neither of my sisters are financially stable to care for the farm, pay for the funeral, etc. Er, not that I'm trying to kill off my mom or anything! She's only 60 and could have many, many more years ahead of her, although it's unlikely. I'm also trying to seek God's will for what to do about work. Do I stay at home when the baby arrives? Work part time? full time? contract hours? Helllllllllllllllllllpppppppp.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Counting to five

Here is how Katrina counts to five:

"One..." (holds up one finger)
"B..." (smiles)
"Five!" (holds up five fingers)

She's in the bathroom right now, sitting on the potty, and I'm in the other room. She insists she needs 'privacy' to go potty. Even though she doesn't give us privacy when we're going potty.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's not Crohn's Disease!

Katrina's test results were great yesterday. The endoscopies showed no signs of inflammation or scarring, meaning she does not have Crohn's Disease. The gastroenterologist took some biopsies, just to be certain, and those results will be available in a few weeks.

The procedures themselves weren't so great. The first sedative they gave Katrina was called Propofol, and she had an allergic reaction to it. It contains a small amount of egg as an emulsifier, and even though the pediatric allergist swears Katrina's not allergic to eggs, she had a reaction. The doctor and nurses treated her for that (Benadryl, Albuterol, breathed for her for a bit), then switched her to Ketamine as a sedative to finish the procedure. All seemed to be well until she started having seizures. Apparently Ketamine can somewhat lower one's threshold for seizures. Katrina received two or three kinds of medicine for the seizures, and the seizures stopped after about twenty minutes.

We ended up staying at the hospital for six hours of observation. By the end of the evening yesterday Katrina was fine ... running around, playing, eating and drinking. She had a little bit of low muscle tone from one of the medicines used to stop the seizures, but she is MUCH better today. She gets a dose of Prednisone today, and we're under strict orders to keep Benadryl nearby in case she starts to have another reaction.

Next steps: head to the pediatrician tomorrow for a follow-up appointment, to make sure all the sedatives are out of her system and there are no complications; then back to the gastroenterologist in three weeks for the biopsy results and to create a forward action plan.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Today is going exceedingly well. God is good. :) Katrina took her first dose of medicine "okay" for Daddy this morning, then spent a few hours at the babysitter's house. Her second dose didn't go so well ... she threw that up. But then she took a dose of another kind fine, and is sound asleep. She only said "I hummy" TWICE since I've been home (five o'clock). I'm going to make a sandwich then it's off to bed, because we need to be up at five a.m. tomorrow to head to Georgetown. By this time tomorrow we'll know answers to why Katrina has been so sick!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The fun of it all.

Katrina has two procedures scheduled for Wednesday, so tomorrow morning starts a clear liquid only diet. How fun this will be to hear my toddler say, "I hummy! I hummy!" ("I'm hungry") over and over again, to which I can only respond, "Here, drink some apple juice/water/Gatorade/etc." She had to fast one morning last week for an upper GI, and that was miserable. I can only imagine (and dread) what tomorrow and Wednesday will be like. The pediatric GI will be performing the procedures himself, though, so we should know answers right away. Katrina has been hovering right around 24.4 - 24.5 pounds these last few weeks. We have to weigh her several times the next 24 - 48 hours, as she will also be taking magnesium citrate to induce .... cleansing of the bowels, and will likely drop weight quickly. *sigh*

My pregnancy is going well, all stress at work/church/home aside. I have very intense cravings for avocados. Specifically semi-ripe avocados sliced with lemon juice and salt. I eat just about one a day now. They are apparently a good source of magnesium. Still not showing much, which is fine by me. I'm surprised, though, as I've always heard and read that subsequent pregnancies show sooner. It's causing me to be quite vain about clothing, as I don't like my current clothes but I'm not ready to buy a ton of summer/fall maternity clothes.

Thursday is the last real night of my class. I've been taking Pauline Epistles, one of the courses I need for ordination. It's been a lot of hard work, and a lot of fun. Ryan has been wonderfully supportive through it all. He even made dinner from scratch one night AND gave Katrina a bath AND cleaned up afterward so I could study. The final is next week, but our "professor" (my senior pastor) is out of town, so he's e-mailing the final.

We're heading to Illinois the week of July 4th. VBS is the week before that, and so we're heading out Saturday morning the 30th. We're planning to spend two days and a night in Wisconsin Dells for 'vacation.' Of course, I won't be able to go on many of the water rides, being pregnant, so it's more of a chance to get together with extended family (the cousins are going, too) and hang out at a variety of amusement parks.

I'm really not a very interesting blog writer, am I? Maybe because the only time I find to sit down and write is late at night when the day is done ... and I'm exhausted. Or maybe I lead a very boring life. :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007


The word is out at work and at church, so I might as well share it here, too ...

pregnancy due date

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Katrina update

I was going to post some pictures of our peanut now that she's two, but the camera is at home and I'm at work. Instead I'll update you all on her two-year-checkup yesterday. I can't believe she's two already, even though she's been saying she's two for the last month or so. :)

Height: 35.5" (if the saying that kids are half their height at age 2, she's going to be 5' 11"!!)
Weight: 24 lbs

Katrina was officially diagnosed as 'failure to thrive/slow growth' yesterday. Really all this means is that she is underweight, and has not gained the weight she should have in the six months since her last checkup. This diagnosis will help with getting insurance to approve tests, exams, and specialist visits.

Now that Katrina is two, and really since she was 18-months, the doctor is more concerned with her weight-for-height rather than her weight-for age. We know other toddlers Katrina's age and older that weigh just a few pounds more, but they are at a healthy weight for their height. I was reading about toddler growth patterns last night, and weight-for-age matters in babies, because "they" have done close studies and traced the general growth patterns for infants and young toddlers. But once a child hits 18 months - 2 years, it switches to weight-for-height or BMI, just like adults. For example, I weight 150 lbs, which is a healthy weight for a 5'6" female, but irrelevant to being 27 years old. (Does that make sense?) Her weight-for-height (24 lbs - rounded up - for 35.5" ) gives her a BMI of 13.4, which is the 0th percentile.
is a BMI calculator for kids. With her stats (2y, 24 lbs, 35.5"), we get these results: A 36-inch tall, 24-pound, 2-year-old girl has a body mass index (BMI) of 13.4, which is at the 0th percentile for age. This suggests that this girl is underweight. A healthy weight range for this particular girl would be from about 27-pounds to 32-pounds. So she's not that far from a healthy weight - needs to gain approximately 3 - 8 pounds. The problem is getting her to gain the weight. She eats well and often, but is not digesting the food she eats.

We have an appointment scheduled for June 11 with a pediatric GI to look at her inflamed intestines. The pediatrician is going to try to get that appointment moved up, though, because she thinks a month is too long. (Apparently the blood tests showed her intestines have been inflamed for at least three months or something). She also sees a pediatric allergist at the end of this month to figure out if there are foods/allergens that are triggering this inflammation. We know she has a slight egg allergy, but is not allergic to the other top food allergens (milk, soy, wheat, legumes, shellfish, and something else). There could be other allergens, though, that are triggering this internal reaction and causing her intestines to basically attack themselves.

We're starting her on hypoallergenic infant formula, in addition to her normal meals. Hopefully she'll be able to digest it and absorb the calories/vitamins/minerals from that, at least until we can determine what the underlying cause of the inflammation is. (Dr. Mullen *thinks* it's Crohn's disease, but she said the GI has to make that final diagnosis.)

Monday, April 30, 2007

Spring is here!

Praise God for sunshine and warmth! I am so glad spring is finally here. We had a busy but normal weekend, with a lot of time spent outside. Our church's softball season started last week, so we'll be hitting (ha, no pun intended) those games each Sunday afternoon. I could list every single activity in our lives, but I'm sure that would be quite boring. :) Yesterday I thought, "Oh, I want to blog about this!" ... and then promptly forgot.

For those of you following along, Katrina's CF test came back fine. We took her last week for a weight check - she was completely uncooperative - and then to the lab where they drew several vials. We should have those results back today, hopefully. Tests include a complete blood count, celiac, several pancreatic enzymes, and a few others that I forget. The pediatrician said last week, she would rather exhaust every possibility than to say, "It's nothing" and in a year or two find out that Katrina has severely malfunctioning organs. Besides constant digestive problems, she is actually doing great! I can't believe she's going to be two soon. Where have the days gone?!

Whoops, it's almost 7:30 and I need to leave for work. I'll post more if I remember what I was going to say. Hope you all are doing well!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Last week, in a nutshell.

This past week has been a bit crazy for me/us. Here we go:

Monday - took Katrina to the pediatrician; ped says she needs to be tested for cystic fibrosis

Tuesday - rear-ended someone at a stop sign

Wednesday - somewhat uneventful

Thursday - stressful day at work; coworker upset, another coworker not carrying her load, looming deadlines

Friday - Laura's father-in-law passed away (Laura my sister-in-law - David's dad Dennis)

Friday, March 23, 2007


For some reason, I was reading back through old posts. Er, my old posts. Specificially, I found this one interesting. Out of the nine things I listed then as wanting to do before I die, I have done one of them (Lasik surgery), am close to another one (being ordained), and am actively working on two of them (a gazillion kids and going back to Wales - via Ireland). It's been a little more than two years since I wrote that list. I wonder what the status will be in another two years ...

Okay, now I'm really going to bed.

They are almost here!

In less than 12 hours, my in-laws will be here. Ryan's parents are coming to stay with us for a week (Gail's on Spring Break), my house is a mess, and what am I doing? That's right, I'm blogging! :)

The bug is still floating around in the Herbert household. Katrina is feeling MUCH better, but now Daddy and Mommy are getting sick. Ryan and I have both been exhausted for two days now. I slept approx. 12 hours last night and he's on track for that tonight. I'm planning on crashing in a few minutes.

Katrina's recent bouts with rotavirus have led to what we think is 'secondary temporary lactose intolerance' (according to the nurse at our pediatrician's office). Monday she threw up and had diarrhea within minutes of drinking milk. It continued Tuesday and Wednesday, along with general crabbiness. I called the nurse and she said it's fairly common for kids to develop an intolerance for milk as a beverage after rotavirus. She said cheese, yogurt and other dairy products are okay, and we can even try lower fat (like 2% or skim) milk to see if Katrina can stomach those, just not whole milk for about a week or so. Katrina did lose nearly four pounds, putting her back down to 20 lbs. She's back up to 22 lbs - I was wondering if we were going to have to turn around her carseat, but she stayed at 20 or above.

Speaking of being crabby, Katrina was not happy to leave Ms. Elaine's house today. Here was our conversation in the car on the way home:

Me: "Katrina, how was your day?"

K: (silence)

Me: "Katrina, did you have a good day today?"

K: "No."

Me: "You didn't have a good day today? Did you take a nap?" (I know she did.)

K: "No."

Me: "Did you play with Emmy?" (Another known fact.)

K: "No."

Me: "Did you eat lunch?"

K: "No."

Me: "Did you watch t.v.?"

K: "No."

Me: "Okay, then. Let's sing 'The Itsy, Bitsy Spider."

K: "No."

I sing anyway, and Katrina joins in with choruses of "Noooooooooooooooooooooo."

Praise the Lord the babysitter only lives two miles from us. I don't know how much longer I can take this "NO" stage, and she's not even two yet!

In all seriousness, I am absolutely amazed at how much I love this little girl. Earlier tonight I stumbled upon the blog of a friend from college. She posted almost exactly what Ryan and I feel ... we adore our daughter, are amazed by her every day, can't believe God trusts us to be her parents ... I tuck her into bed, glad for a few moments to myself, but then I find myself missing her and want to peek in on her. Tonight before we put her to bed, the three of us laid in our bed, just laughing and talking and tickling. We are blessed beyond belief.

One of these days I should figure out what I want to be when I grow up. :) I confuse myself sometimes, thinking I want nothing more than to stay at home with her ... or to have another baby ... then I go to work and think that what we have is great, too. I am taking a couple of days off while Ryan's parents are here. They have visited a few times before and it always seemed to fall during a big proposal for me. This time we are 'in the waiting' on a few procurements. Monday I have to travel to Virginia (to Ryan's worksite, actually) to give training on a new database we're using, Tuesday I'll be at the office, and Thursday I have an offsite meeting but it's in Frederick. So Wednesday and Friday I'll be off work (hopefully). One of those days we need to take Katrina for her very first haircut! The kid will be two in eight weeks, and her hair is just now long enough to need a trim. I should post a picture of her so you can see her blonde mop ...

Okay, enough. Time for bed. Good night, all!

Monday, March 19, 2007


My life seems to be about randomness lately, if that is possible. Tonight was the night to see strange, random things on the highway. On the way to church, I saw an ambulance being pulled by a tow truck. Then, on the way home from church, I passed a flatbed truck with two Metro cars. For some reason these 'vehicles' struck me as odd.

The weather has also been odd. Wednesday was in the high 70s/low 80s; Thursday, rain and 60s; Friday brought rain, sleet, and 8" of snow. By the end of the day Friday I was wondering if the end of the world was near.

Work is ... eh. I'm in between proposals, which is good, but Katrina has been sick again lately (more on that topic later), so I've been juggling a full-time job, a full-time ministry, and a full-time family. Work is basically getting the least of my attention, and I'm annoyed/irritated/disgusted with a cow-orker, which doesn't really help.

This is pretty much a pointless post. I'll post more next week ... Ryan's parents will be in town, and I'm planning on taking a day or two off while they are here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Jaime and Andy have news!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Happy first day of Lent! Today begins sugar-withdrawal for me. I've given up sweets and fast food this year. We'll see how that goes. I apologize in advance for any crabbiness.

And of course, we are celebrating my boss's birthday today. With cake. *sigh*

Heh. I was just thinking about the time that Marte and I gave up saying the word 'crap' for Lent. Except that in it's place we said, "Oh, Lent!"

Is anybody out there giving up something for Lent?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Yes, Katrina is sleeping with a hammer. A toy hammer, thank goodness.

..... maybe I shouldn't let her watch HGTV just before bed .....

Monday, January 29, 2007

My daughter learned a dirty word from LeapFrog.

That's right, folks. An seemingly harmless educational toy has taught Katrina a dirty word. For about a week or ten days we've noticed that Katrina has been saying 'caca' ('poop' in Spanish, for the truly naive out there) and couldn't figure out where in the world she learned it. Well, the mystery was solved tonight on the way to swim class.

Katrina has this fun little alphabet thing from LeapFrog that hangs on our fridge. It's magnetic and teaches the sounds letters make. Ryan's parents gave it to her for Christmas. It has a catchy little tune that says, "Every letter makes a sound and S says 'sssss,' 'sssss'" and so on. We have the letters in Katrina's name out so she can learn her name, and tonight in the car I sang, "Every letter makes a sound and K says --" when Katrina shouted "CACA!!" K, of course, says "cuh, cuh" ... which sounds like a dirty word when a toddler says it.

Thanks, educational toys of the world, for teaching my daughter a dirty word.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

CPC and the Girls Letter

I spent Wednesday - Saturday at Children's Pastors' Conference. I loved it. Awesome speakers, challenging topics, fun workshops, tons of new ideas and resources, and I even connected with a couple of old friends and made some new friends. God is good.

Debbers sent the girls' letter tonight. How my heart aches to be reuinited with my dear friends. The years and miles may separate us physically, but the Holy Spirit continues to bind us together into a cord not easily broken. My hopes and prayers for the girls:

Debbie - may God continue to heal you, both physically and emotionally. I miss you too much, I think sometimes. I wish you lived closer so we could get together. Are you SURE you don't want to move to DC? :)

Char - may our Father continue to richly bless you and Jeremiah as you raise little Reece. How much he has surely grown since this fall! I need to see pictures!!

'rika - How I love to read your blogs! You are one of God's most beautiful creations, and I don't think for one moment that you need to compromise your standards. You deserve only the best in a mate! Keep praying and waiting for His guidance.

Megs - Okay, showoff! Not one but TWO triathalons?! You are amazing!!! Good for you for keeping healthy and stretching your body to do more! I'm proud of you! And I promise, I won't tell anybody your duplex secret. :)

Jill - I should have checked to see if you were going to be at CPC! I'm sorry VA didn't work out for you ... it was nice to have you for a semi-neighbor, even though we didn't get together. And happy birthday yesterday to little Ethan! I can't believe he's a year old already!! What did you guys do to celebrate?

Leah - my almost-sister who's closer than a sister, what would I do without you? I think of you so often, and my heart aches to know your sufferings. But your faith and determination to shake College Park and the surrounding communities are an inspiration! Hang in there, my dear friend. One day we will see the fruits of our efforts. (And by the way, I still have Christmas presents for you guys! Didn't I do the same thing last year and give them like a month late or something? I really need to work on getting organized.)

Melanie - I was going to say that you cheated and didn't really update, but then I realized my contribution wasn't any better! What's new with you? Where are you working? How is your family? Tell us more!!

Sara - I needed to cry in the shower this summer and wished you were here. A major ministry event I planned was a huge flop, and although no one said it, I know everyone was doubting my leadership abilities. I was so embarrassed! I knew that you would know just the right thing to say, and that you would listen and let me cry it out. Those days at camp seem so long ago ... God has really brought us a long way, hasn't he?

Amanda - Sometimes 'uneventful' can be a good thing, as long as you are in God's will. And remember, "This too shall pass." :) Sooooooo .... what's the exciting changes in the near future that you mentioned??

Amy - It sounds like the last year was really rough for you. I'm so sorry, but I am very glad to hear that you were able to make the best of it and get a new position in Herscher! I attended grade school through senior high at the next district over (Tri-Point) and Sidra attended Herscher schools, so it's a blast from the past to hear about it. And congratulations on the romance! If you submitted your update in the fall like some of the others, has much changed since then?

Allison - I don't know where to start. Congratulations on Gabriel ... and I'm so very sorry to read about Donovan. Has anything changed since you wrote? I am definitely praying. We serve and are loved by a God who wants the best for us and who proved His might when He rolled the stone away. I am certain that He has a plan for you. Please let me know how everything is going.

Krista - Okay, you get the award for the "Least Informative Submission" - after Marte, of course. :) Girl, I know a ton has happened in your life in the last year ... you have got to share how God has been at work in your life, leading you all over the world and back to Kankakee and such! And you have to share about your kittens, too. Trish says they are adorable! :)

Krissy - Congratulations on your marriage!!! I am SO happy for you!! It does sound like you are very busy, but it also sounds like you love what you are doing. I'm so glad you have John beside you.

And last but not least, Sidra Schkerke - Marte!! No more AWOL allowed for you!! And you didn't call me back after your cryptic message last week or so, either! I'd better hear from you soon or I'll ... I'll ... I'll call your mother and tell on you! :)

My dear girlfriends, I love and miss you. I am thankful for each of you, for the trials and triumphs we shared in school and beyond. May the Lord bless you and keep you, as we continue to journey through another year.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


Katrina caught a stomach bug from another little girl at day care, and the symptoms are showing in full force tonight. She got sick all over Ryan just as we were about to leave for the grocery store, and has thrown up/spit up several more times this evening.

We feel so helpless when she's sick. This is reminding me of when she first caught the rotavirus bug just about a year ago ... March 2006, when she was almost ten months old. Our poor little baby was so miserable. She had vomiting for several days followed by diarrhea which led to the rotavirus diagnosis. I remember she went from 16 pounds to 13 pounds in three days! If she lost any more weight she would have been hospitalized.

I pray she doesn't get that sick this time. The good news is that subsequent bouts of rotavirus tend to be not as bad as previous episodes. And there is a new vaccine called RotaTeq available for newborns and infants that protects against rotavirus. You can read about it in this Washington Post article. Please, moms and moms-to-be, get this vaccine for your babies. I can't tell you how scary rotavirus is. Most people think, "Oh, it's just a stomach bug," but it can quickly lead to weight loss and dehydration in infants and toddlers, which in turn leads to hospitalization and sadly, sometimes death. The RotaTeq vaccine came out after Katrina was past the age of getting it, but we are most definitely getting all of the rest of our babies vaccinated for rotavirus, and we'll encourage our friends to do the same.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I can see clearly now!

The rain IS gone (and the snow flurries, too), but I hope tomorrow's not too much of a bright, sunny day because I'm still light-sensitive. Yes, folks, I survived laser eye surgery. My surgery lasted all of maybe five minutes (seriously) and I was on my way home less than an hour after I arrived at the vision center. Immediately I noticed improvement ... I could see the ceiling tiles in the surgery room! And I could see down the hall through the recovery room door. The irritation and light-sensitivity kicked in about 15 minutes after surgery, and that was rough. I wore those dorky sunglasses they give, plus I had my eyes closed, plus I held my coat over my head to block any light. I slept for about two hours and awoke to find the numbing drops had worn off. Ouch. But the steroid drops they gave for post-op care help a lot, and by 4:00 yesterday afternoon (6 hours after surgery), I felt GREAT! I could see fine, the achiness was gone, and I honestly felt like nothing had been done to my eyes. (Except that I could see without glasses or contacts.) So, if you are at all thinking about getting it done, I highly encourage it! It's been great!

We put Katrina's mattress back in her crib for the past few nights because Ryan was back in Colorado and we didn't want to try to deal with her getting up all the time. Just tonight I moved her back to her toddler bed, and sure enough she got up after I put her to bed. I ignored her for about 20 minutes (which is hard ... she's so darn cute!), then my friend Trish told me about Super Nanny. I seriously don't watch much television, but good ol' Google pointed me in the right direction. I'm not the only parent who struggles to keep their toddler in bed:

A huge 'thank you' to Trish for sending me help just when I needed it! (Don't you think Trish would be a good mom? I think so.) :)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Bed Time at the Herberts

Wow, it's been awhile since I posted last! Highlights of the last two months:

- We traveled to Illinois for both Thanksgiving and Christmas; flew at Thanksgiving and drove for Christmas.

- Katrina moved from a crib to a toddler bed just before Thanksgiving.

- We wrapped up the State Department proposal at work on December 6 with an oral presentation. Hopefully we'll hear in March if we won an award, but then again, this has been the procurement from hell (originally due in July 2005, finally submitted 2nd printing in October 2005 only to be destroyed and reopened for oral proposals in December 2006)

- My friends from church (Jackie, Debbie and Lenora ... none have blogs, but Lenora does have a Creative Memories page) and I went to Super Suppers in December and it was a blast! I had to laugh when I read Jaime Bartling's post, because she wrote almost exactly what I had in mind! Except that Ryan doesn't care for cooking, like her Andy does.

- I had a great conversation with my boss just before Ryan and I left for IL for Christmas ... kind of an annual review, but not technically since I didn't fill out my portion ahead of time like I was supposed to do. Gordon was super sweet and encouraging and had a lot of great things to say ... which only confused me more. I so don't know what I want to do about working vs. staying home.

- There's some exciting news I want to tell you but I can't, not until after January 22nd or so. :)

- I'm getting my eyes fixed on Tuesday! LASIK surgery, that is. And of course, Ryan has to go to Colorado Sunday through Wednesday. My friend Laura is going to pick me up from the surgery instead.

- I'm also heading to Florida at the end of this month for the annual Children's Pastors' Conference. Some of you may remember I went in 2004. Our church is sending me again, along with my friend Jackie. We are very excited! (And yes, Sara, it's at Disney World!)

- Call me "Soccer Mom" - we bought a minivan! It's a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan, light blue with Stow-n-Go seats and power sliding doors. I love it!!! It made driving to Illinois (a 14 hour trip) very nice.

Ummmm, that's about it. Life has be busy around here, but I'm not sure what we've been doing! It's good to be home after traveling. It's bedtime, but Katrina is refusing to stay in her bed. She's not crying or anything ... she just keeps getting back up and walking to the baby gate. Then she stands there until one of us takes pity on her. (This has been going on for 30 minutes.) This is so not like her! And of course Ryan and I are exhausted from traveling yesterday and can't wait to get to bed. So sleepy ....